I know it seems like an oxymoron to use the words ‘thrifty’ and ‘Starbucks’ in the same sentence, but to me being thrifty means cutting corners where I can so that I can enjoy a few splurges now and then at the lowest cost.
Starbucks and I go way back to when my sister got a job there just out of college while she was waiting for a position in her field. She introduced me to all sorts of different Starbucks coffee drinks while she worked there.
Now Starbucks is where I go to meet a friend and catch up or hang out solo and get some blogging work done.
Starbucks, however, doesn’t quite fit in the budget…at least it didn’t until I found creative ways to make it fit.
5 Ways Thrifty People Enjoy Starbucks
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1. We Splurge Using Gift Cards Earned Through Reward Programs
Here is a secret: I rarely pay cash for my Starbucks drinks. 95% of the time they are paid for by gift cards I earn through online point reward programs, survey companies, or apps.
Here are a few places to earn Starbucks gift cards:
Point Reward Programs offering Starbucks gift cards as payment
- Swagbucks (here is a tutorial I wrote on making the most of your Swagbucks account)
- InstaGC (here are my top 4 ways I like to earn at InstaGC)
- MyPoints (here is my guide on how to earn gift cards with MyPoints)
Survey Companies offering Starbucks gift cards as payment
- Survey Junkie
- PrizeRebel (although primarily a survey company there are 9 ways to earn gift cards with PrizeRebel)
Apps offering Starbucks gift cards as payment
- Ibotta (here is my step by step guide to Ibotta)
- Berrycart (here is my tutorial on how to use BerryCart)
- Shopkick (here is my step by step guide to Shopkick)
2. We Are Active Members Of My Starbucks Rewards
My Starbucks Rewards is a program that offers frequent Starbucks consumers benefits for their loyalty. You don’t have to be a huge consumer to benefit from this program.
To sign up for the program you need a Starbucks card to register (earn one from the list in point one). Once you have a card registered keep transferring the balance of your newly earned cards, or those you get as gifts to your registered card.
Through that card, Starbucks will track when you buy a drink and give you two stars per dollar spent (before tax).
You can also use the Starbucks app. With the Starbucks app, you can scan gift cards into it and use the app to pay. The app also gives you a visual of how many my Starbucks rewards points you have.
The program has two levels
- At the first level and Gold level, you get two stars for every dollar spent and free in-store refills on coffee (just plain coffee not the fancy drinks) plus a free birthday reward.
- When you earn 300 stars in a 12 month period you move on to Gold status. This gets you a free drink or food product for every 125 stars you earn, plus access to monthly double star days, special coupons and your very own gold colored Starbucks gift card with your name on it.
You can also earn points from star codes found on select Starbucks products sold in stores.
3. We Watch For Daily Deals
At least once a year it seems that Groupon will offer a 1/2 off gift card–generally, it is $5 for a $10 e-gift card.
4. We Keep Our Eyes Out For Starbucks Sales
Starbucks has in the past had a few times a year that reduce certain drinks to 1/2 price. This is when I like to treat my daughter to some mom and Starbucks time. Although now they seem to be moving to a Happy Hour for my My Starbuck Rewards members only and what is offered and the reduced price varies. To claim your Happy Hour deal you need to use the app.
The app will also be where you find out about double star days and other deals. They send out emails about these deals as well, but to claim them you usually need to use the app.
5. We Bring Our Own Cups
The discount for bringing your own cup is only 10 cents but I love doing this when I remember because it reduces my carbon footprint too. A win for me and a win for the environment. My favorite Starbucks mug to date is this mug, I have two and I use them daily at home and try to bring one to the store with me when I am going to sit and work in Starbucks for a while.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
Interested in saving and earning money? Join the Thrifty People Of Snail Pace Transformations Facebook group.
3 More Posts Starbucks Lovers Will Love:
- How Starbucks And Swagbucks Go Together Like Sugar And Cream
- 8 Places Where You Can Earn Starbucks Gift Cards: Plus How To Make Them Go Further
- 50+ Restaurant Apps That Offer Rewards